Which is the correct preposition here ?

The shop is (at/on/in) the road.

I would think at/on are possible, but do they give the same meaning for the sentence ?

4 Answers 4


It depends on exactly which relationship you intend.

The shop is at the road.

This formulation would be uncommon, but could apply if the road indicated a landmark or intersection on the path you were actually taking.

You can walk south from the campsite to the bait shop along the stream. The shop is on the far side of the lot, at the road.

As for

The shop is in the road.
The shop is on the road.

In British English, a shop is found in a road, and in American English, on the road, when it is situated along the road.

The shop is in Penny Lane.
The store is on Lakeshore Drive.

In AmE, to say something is in the road is equivalent to saying it is literally in the middle of the path, or perhaps embedded in the paving materials. Watch out! There are a lot of potholes in the road.


The shop on the road or along the road. At and in would be unusual.

You could say: in the middle of the road or I stopped at n. 15 of Boston Road in New York.


As an American kid, I'd hear the song Our House (by the UK group Madness) with the line, Our House, in the middle of the street, and I'd imagine an enormous house situated directly on the yellow line in the asphalt of the street.

  • Can you elaborate a little? I don't understand what your answer to "which is the correct preposition?" is exactly.
    – ColleenV
    Jan 14, 2015 at 18:37

Arabic saying: The best speech is one that is short and comprehensive (better that a speech,which is long, even if it were a way more compreheisive). Here is my take of the issue: There is no need to explain the meaning of IN os ON. They are used as IN or ON of any other language Regarding AT:basic meaning is "EXACTLY ....(in/on/beside/seven o'clock),so it is used when the listener will not face any ambiguity. For example: "He will never see you again, he is already AT the grave AT = EXACTLY..in, that is he is already dead.You can, of course also use "in the grave". So, we use IT 1) to lacate the exAcT position in space (for example if you are talking of a woman standing BESIDE the grave, you can only use AT, never ON/IN) 2) to locate a position is space given the listener will not misundertand you..SO when you say to someone that "I met Mary at the theater" he would believe that you met Mary beside the theater. Now if this is the case, then it is OK, but if you meant to say that you met her exactly in/on/etc.. you should use IN/ON/etc . Another example: On entering a building you asked the janitor where Mr.Jones is and he answered with "At his Office, of course". (In other language a janitor would say IN) . The janitor using English used AT, because there was no fear you are going to face ambiguity (At the door of his office, beside, On the roof of his office) If ther was he would have said IN (to mean inside)

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